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Submitted by John Naslund, North County MSBL (San Diego)
I am a long time player, coach, and board member of MSBL in North
County San Diego. Our team is the North County Storm. I wanted to
share an incredible story about faith, perseverance, and the love of
Steve Smiley is a long time veteran of North County MSBLbaseball. He is a gifted pitcher, hitter, and athlete in general.
On a sunny day, August 28th of 2015, Steve was returning home on his motorcycle
when another vehicle failed to yield to oncoming traffic and turned in front of
him. Steve sustained serious injuries, most notably his right foot, which
was mangled. Doctors told him there was less than a 10% chance of saving
his foot from amputation, a story which persisted well into 2016.
After a multitude of surgeries, Steve was thankfully able to
retain both feet. Through pain, prayer, and persistence, Steve eventually
walked again, gradually improving his perilous condition. In April of
2016, Steve was finally able to wear a specially sized shoe again for the first
time since the August accident. Steve, through a regimen of exercise and
physical therapy, maintained a drive to not only walk but to throw a baseball
Steve, while rehabbing, assisted in coaching our North County
Storm 55+ team during the current season. A few weeks ago, Steve made the
comment he was ready to go to the mound… a comment that floored me. He
threw to our star catcher who confirmed he had control and decent velocity and
might just be effective again. We put
Steve to the test.
The North County Storm played in the top National Division of the
open 60+ Memorial Day Weekend Tournament in San Diego a short while ago.
Steve pitched a complete game win for the Storm in the round-robin, helping
to propel the Storm to victory and head toward the eventual championship game. Mike Patrick took it from there and threw a
complete game 87 pitch victory against the Greenwood Ridge Dragons to cap the
Steve will begin playing full time for the Storm when the summer
season begins shortly. Steve is straight
forward about why and how he did what he did. "I love life and I love
baseball.” I guess one really propels the other.